COLOMBO, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) — The Sri Lanka Navy said on Friday that a three-member team had boarded the MT New Diamond oil tanker which caught fire in Sri Lanka’s eastern waters last Thursday to carry out an investigation after the fire had been completely doused.
The three-member team was from the salvor and they boarded the oil tanker after a six-member team from overseas also got aboard for inspection.
The navy said preliminary investigations into the distressed ship had already been completed.
The MT New Diamond is carrying 270,000 metric tonnes of crude oil and was heading to the Paradip Port in India from Kuwait when a fire broke out in its engine room last Thursday, threatening to cause a massive oil spill in the Indian Ocean while being in Sri Lanka’s eastern waters.
The navy said that a fuel patch spotted in the sea where the ship was located had been caused by leaks from the ship’s fuel tanks and not the crude oil tanks.
The ship is presently 50 nautical miles away from the eastern coast.
The navy said that nine ships from Sri Lanka Navy, Indian Coast Guard, and Indian Navy together with two Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ships and three Fast Attack Craft and six tugs deployed by other stakeholders were actively engaged in the operation.
Apart from that, aircraft of the Sri Lanka Air Force and a Dornier aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard are doing aerial reconnaissance intermittently.
Further, efforts are being made to remove toxic gases and other vapors, caused by fire, from the engine room and other compartments of the ship, the navy said. Enditem